Sonin: The entire Russian system is based on supporting Russian big state business

PONARS Eurasia
20 May 2020

(Politico) A few days ago, six weeks into Moscow’s coronavirus lockdown, I was shopping at a local supermarket when the man behind me at the checkout counter started pushing into me. I told him to move away. He was astonished: “How come?” The cashier and I exchanged looks. “You’re supposed to stay at least a meter and half away from other customers,” she said. “Really?” he answered. “This is the first I’ve heard of it.” [...]

In all of Putin’s six addresses to the nation, he has never once mentioned support of big state enterprises. Konstantin Sonin, an economist and professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, says this was for a simple reason: There’s no need. “The entire Russian system is based on supporting Russian big state business. All the tools already exist: You go to the president or cabinet to ask for something, like preferential loans, at any time. These companies already have so many opportunities to do this that there is no need to come up with any new procedures.” [...]

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